Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Geography 2016

Standard 93401


Part A: Commentary

Successful candidates were well prepared, with an understanding of the topic and of the Scholarship standard. These candidates integrated their geographical knowledge about migration with the information provided in the resource. Answers that were less successful were often unplanned, poorly structured, and did not address the question. These candidates often included simplistic statements and sweeping generalisations. Visuals in these cases, were often
non-geographic, inappropriate, and irrelevant. 

Question One gave candidates the opportunity to show a high level of thinking through processing the provided resources, integrating them with knowledge from their learnings, and presenting them in a coherent way. Candidates explored multiple settings and drew on evidence from both global and local levels to evaluate the interaction of different rates and scales.

In Question Two, candidates examined the values that influence our economic, social, and environmental decisions and responses. This open-ended question allowed for stronger candidates to present well-developed arguments with sophistication and flair.

Question Three was open-ended and gave candidates the opportunity to show that they could write consistently at Scholarship level. Stronger candidates presented their opinions and arguments, and rationalised them in a convincing way. This question also prompted candidates to apply their thinking in a diverse range of topics of interest, encouraging the use of evidence to support their arguments.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • accurately interpreted the question
  • thoroughly planned their responses
  • wrote with clarity and sophistication, presenting a well-balanced argument in a convincing way
  • integrated specific and relevant evidence with sophistication and flair, from both the resources provided, and beyond
  • wrote concisely and perceptively including both depth and a good range of ideas, ensuring coverage of details for this level of achievement
  • argued their point and articulated it in a convincing way
  • understood what was meant by perspective, or point of view, or value, and clearly articulated the differences between them
  • wrote concise introductions and conclusions, ensuring all significant aspects were included
  • integrated quality visuals into their writing and referred explicitly to them
  • presented well-balanced arguments that addressed the questions well
  • showed a thorough understanding of how processes interact with each other through insightful and critical thinking
  • presented well-debated ideas, showing creativity and maturity.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • accurately interpreted the questions  
  • integrated visuals into their responses
  • consistently integrated evidence from the provided resources, and beyond
  • presented a balanced argument
  • demonstrated logical development of ideas, and presented them with clarity
  • used correct geography terminology, and in an appropriate way
  • demonstrated critical analytical skills
  • applied a high level of geographic knowledge and skills in their responses
  • understood the key words of the question such as evaluation, justification and discussion, and critical analysis.

Other candidates commonly:

  • did not include visuals, or the visuals were weak and irrelevant
  • did not plan their answers
  • struggled to develop a clear argument within their responses
  • extracted data from the resources without integrating them
  • spent too much time defining what the theme was instead of creating an argument
  • were unable to discuss, critically analyse, or evaluate issues they were presented with
  • wrote too much irrelevant information
  • relied completely on the information in the resource booklet, rather than incorporating prior knowledge on the topic, to be able to bring sufficient complexity and flair
  • did not debate or argue their point
  • lacked convincing fluency in writing.

Further comments

Candidates should manage their time – completing all three questions is important, as is writing sufficient content to showing both depth and breadth  at this level.

Candidates should think “outside the box”, and challenge the sources of evidence for bias and propaganda.

Many candidates should have shown a better understanding of the skills required at this level.

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